Empowering Educational Diversity: Assam’s Initiative to Introduce Tribal Languages in Schools (2024)

In a significant move to preserve the cultural heritage of tribal communities, the Assam government has announced its decision to introduce six tribal languages as mediums of instruction in the foundational stage of school education. This strategic step aligns with the National Education Policy of 2020, emphasizing linguistic diversity and inclusivity.

 

Educational Evolution: Decision in the Cabinet Meeting

 

The decision was formally approved during a cabinet meeting at Lok Sewa Bhawan in Guwahati, chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The inclusion of tribal languages, namely Rabba, Karbi, Tiwa, Deori, and Dimasa, as mediums of instruction (MoI) in the foundational stage reflects the government’s commitment to nurturing linguistic diversity from the grassroots level.

Transition to Regional Languages: A Thoughtful Approach

Chief Minister Sarma elaborated that these tribal languages would serve as mediums of instruction in the initial stages, eventually transitioning to a regional language as the medium of instruction. This thoughtful approach balances the preservation of tribal languages with the broader linguistic landscape of the region.

Recognition of Manipuri: A Language Milestone

In addition to the focus on tribal languages, the cabinet approved the Assam Official Language (Amendment) Bill, 2024, recognizing Manipuri as an Associate Official Language in four districts – Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi, and Hojai. This recognition underscores the state’s commitment to acknowledging and preserving linguistic diversity.

Educational Infrastructure Development: Assam Veterinary and Fishery University

The cabinet meeting also paved the way for the establishment of the Assam Veterinary and Fishery University, aiming to bifurcate from the Assam Agriculture University. This initiative includes the integration of the Lakhimpur College of Veterinary Science and the proposed Dairy Science College into the proposed university.

Economic Empowerment: Mukhyamantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyan–Nogoria

To foster women’s entrepreneurship, the cabinet approved guidelines for the Mukhyamantri Mahila Udyamita Abhiyan–Nogoria. The phased implementation will empower eligible Self-Help Group (SHG) members, providing them with an Entrepreneurship Fund in the first phase, followed by the opportunity to avail loans in subsequent phases, supported by government capital subsidies.

Rural Empowerment and Infrastructure: Mega Mission Society Allocation

Addressing rural empowerment and infrastructure development, the cabinet sanctioned Rs 1000 crore to the Mega Mission Society under the Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (MMS – CMSGUY). This fund aims to implement Mukhyamantrir Atmanirbhar Asom Abhiyan (MAAA) and Mukhyamantri Mahila Udyamita Asoni (MMUA), contributing to rural economic growth.

Infrastructure Projects: Allocation Under AIFA

Furthermore, the cabinet approved the allocation of Rs 274 crore for infrastructure projects under the Assam Infrastructure Financing Authority (AIFA) for the fiscal year 2023-24. This investment underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing infrastructure across the state.

Protection of Indigenous Rights: Land Rights and Inclusion in Balipara Tribal Belt

The cabinet addressed the protection of land rights for indigenous communities, including Ahom, Koch, Rajbongshi, and Gorkha. These communities will now be included in the list of protected classes of persons in the Balipara Tribal Belt, safeguarding their land rights dating back to 2011.

Administrative Streamlining: Reorganization of Divisions and Subdivisions

Recognizing the importance of effective administration, the cabinet approved the rearrangement and renaming of Divisions and Subdivisions within the Public Works (Building & NH) department. This realignment aligns with the Election Commission of India’s delimitation notification for Legislative Assembly Constituencies (LACs) in Assam.

Towards Administrative Efficiency: Chief Minister’s Atmanirbhar Asom Abhiyan (CMAAA) Society

In a move towards administrative efficiency, the cabinet announced the creation of Chief Minister’s Atmanirbhar Asom Abhiyan (CMAAA) Society under the Industries, Commerce & PE Department. The CEO of this society will be appointed by the government, marking a strategic step towards streamlined governance.

Infrastructure Development Loan: NHB Sanction for UIDF Projects

To bolster infrastructure development, the cabinet approved a loan of Rs 59.27 crore from the National Housing Bank (NHB). This loan will support projects sanctioned under the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF), including Integrated Traffic Management Systems and Infrastructure Development in various districts.

A Holistic Approach to Progress

The diverse array of decisions taken in the cabinet meeting reflects Assam’s commitment to holistic progress. From preserving linguistic diversity in education to empowering women entrepreneurs and investing in infrastructure, these initiatives showcase a comprehensive approach towards sustainable development. Assam’s journey towards progress is marked by cultural preservation, economic empowerment, and administrative efficiency.

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